My last #activekids blog was all about the benefits children gain from being active. It proved very popular and set my stats on fire! I admitted that it can be hard to tempt my own children away from their screens sometimes, especially my older boys. There are however tricks I use to help me and I wanted to share some of them with you. They’ll be blissfully unaware that you have a plan! It’s always best to be one step ahead of children, isn’t that always the way with parenthood?! So, when you want to be active as a family, how do you get them to switch off, leave the land they’re building on Minecraft and put on their trainers and join you?
Keeping active when you have kids can be really hard. Carving out time for yourself to get out and do some exercise is a daily challenge. I often use the hashtag #activefamily because I’ve discovered that one of the best ways to get my daily dose of activity is to make it a family affair. This is particularly the case during school holidays and there are a lot of those! With a bit of imagination you can turn any trip into a work out for every member of the family, without them even realising what you’re doing!
We can learn so much from children. When I say, “Stop, look and listen” I’m not talking about how to cross a road; I’m certain adults know more about that than children. No, I’m talking about something entirely different. Are you like me? Always so busy, rushing around, trying to cram as much into each day as you possibly can? A successful day is one when everything is ticked off on the long to-do list? Children have an entirely different agenda, they see the world through completely different eyes. Today was a good reminder to me that we all need to slow down, stop, look and listen. We’re missing so much …
I’m keen on self-reflection. I wrote a diary for years as a child and I dip in again from time to time now. I find it very therapeutic and I just LOVE reading it back. It helps me to be grateful for all I have and to set targets for the year ahead. It’s amazing how much you forget, even in the space of a year. I guess blogging and vlogging kind of replaces a diary in some ways but I’ll still be making my yearly entry looking back on the year I’ve had and making plans for 2016.
Do your children enjoy exercise? Are they doing enough? Sometimes we have to nurture a love of exercise in our little ones. The current activity guidelines for children age 5 to 18 are that they need to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This should be of moderate to vigorous intensity so needs to be something that gets their heart racing and makes them out of breath. On three days a week this should include an activity that strengthens muscles and bones. Under 5s should be active for at least 180 minutes a day but this can include lighter activities too. Have a look here for the NHS guidelines and suggestions about how to achieve this.
I usually avoid anything that looks remotely like a chain letter. I spent many wasted hours writing those in my youth; I’m still waiting for the replies from the 500 other letter writers that were promised to me. I’m not superstitious so I don’t fear the consequences of not passing these things on; I often walk under ladders to show my kids it’s all nonsense and I lived many unscathed years at house number 13. When I was nominated by Rachel at Ten Minutes Spare to share the 50 things that make me happy I felt rather differently. Suddenly I was ripping down the curtains in the bedroom, making dungarees for the kids and singing ‘My favourite things’ in a very loud voice.
I know, I know, how can I have been a runner for 7 years and never have done a parkrun? I’m almost embarrassed to admit it. Parkrun has become a regular date on most runner’s weekly calendar and Twitter overheats on a Saturday morning with race facts. So, what took me so long and was it worth the wait?
I was over the moon to be interviewed by the Talented Ladies Club. It’s a fantastic site with lots of useful information, motivation and expertise for working mums. You can read the interview here. http://www.talentedladiesclub.com/all-inspiration/interview-gp-dr-juliet-mcgrattan/